Texas Senator Files Bill to Speed Study of Texas Coastal Protection

The Texas Tribune and ProPublica reported a companion bill will be filed in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Randy Weber, R.-Texas, soon.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced a bill last week to accelerate a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study of a federally funded coastal protection project on the Texas Gulf Coast and to speed its construction, once the study is completed. Cornyn's Corps' Obligation to Assist in Safeguarding Texas (COAST) Act is designed to streamlines congressional authorization for the project once the Corps completes the feasibility study.

"Texans along our coast live under the constant threat of weather-related devastation to their homes, their livelihoods, and their communities," Cornyn said. "By reducing inefficiency and eliminating duplication, we can speed up the Army Corps' process to ultimately help bring families, businesses, and communities along the coast the peace of mind they deserve."

The bill would require the Corps of Engineers to take into consideration studies already developed by the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District while completing its Coastal Texas Protection & Restoration Study; according to Cornyn's news release, the same provision was included in the Water Resources Development Act passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week.

The release says the bill would allow the final recommended project to proceed to the building phase without additional authorization.

The Texas Tribune and ProPublica reported that U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, a Republican representing a district in Friendswood, a Houston suburb, said he expects to introduce a companion bill in the U.S. House within a few weeks.

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